A Review of Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman
By REBECCA, September 28, 2012
Alice: the artistic, intuitive sister who’s gotten in some trouble
Rachel: the rule-abiding, studious sister who’d do anything for Alice
Alice and Rachel are the rarest of twins—so identical that even their closest friends and family can’t tell them apart. When Alice disappears without a trace, Rachel knows that something is terribly wrong because, for the first time, she feels like their connection is broken. As the hours creep by, things become more and more unclear: what is real? where is Alice? and what secrets have the twins been keeping from everyone—and from each other?
Okay, first things first:
1. DO NOT go read the description of the Kindle version of Beautiful Lies—they totally give away a major plot point that is delightful to discover.
2. Beautiful Lies is a very generic/Romance-y sounding title, and neither cover is great (especially this one to the left). However, DO NOT write it off for these reasons (understandable though the urge might be) because it’s awesome!
I won’t go into too much about the plot of Beautiful Lies because one of its joys is the way the story slowly unfolds. In short, though, Rachel and Alice’s parents died in a car accident when they were young and they’ve lived with their aunt, uncle, and cousin ever since. When her twin disappears, Rachel, knows something is terribly wrong but her aunt and uncle think that Alice has simply run away again, as she’s done in the past.
The next day, though, bloody scrapes, bruises, and black eyes appear on Rachel’s body . . . even though nothing has happened to her to cause them. Even though no one would believe it, Rachel knows that she is manifesting Alice’s injuries, and she sets off, desperate to find her sister. But is this a supernatural thriller? A realistic mystery? Both?
As our narrator searches for her sister, it becomes clear that everything is not as it seems. While their aunt (their mother’s twin) is extremely practical and down-to-earth, Alice and Rachel’s mother was much less so, and their grandmother has struggled with lifelong mental illness. Now, I love a freaking unreliable narrator and I love an is-it-real-or-did-I-imagine-it tale, but they are hard to pull off without being either a.) totally heavy-handed (like, “hey, reader, do you see what I did there? well, I made it unclear whether that was real or not and you CAN’T SAY I DIDN’T!”), or b.) so noncommittal that the reader is left to feel that of course something is going on here because this is all so unnecessarily vague. But Jessica Warman does an overall great job writing an unreliable narrator who is both a great character and a vehicle of the mystery of the story.
what were this book’s intentions? did it live up to them?
Beautiful Lies is a suspenseful mystery with several legit awesome twists! But it’s also a really beautiful story about the complicated relationship between two sisters, the things they do for each other, and the secrets that they’ve been keeping from one another. I think Beautiful Lies will appeal to anyone who wants a solid mystery—even if I did guess some things, this is still definitely a mystery that keeps you guessing. It has its creepy moments, so folks who dig a bit of a creep-fest will not be disappointed. But it’s certainly not scary enough to put off anyone who just wants to read a story about a girl’s relationship with her sister. In short, this is a definite stand-out. Beautiful Lies is the first book of Jessica Warman’s that I’ve read, but I’ll definitely be checking out her others.
Dream Catcher trilogy by Lisa McMann (Wake, 2008; Fade, 2009; Gone, 2010). Janie can’t help it: she gets sucked into other people’s dreams. When she falls into a different kind of terrifying nightmare, Janie isn’t just an observer—now she has a part to play.
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson (2008). Jenna Fox had an accident and has just awoken from a year-long coma—or, at least, that’s what everyone has told her. But if so, why don’t her memories seem like her own? Who is Jenna, really? And where did she come from?
Shine by Lauren Myracle (2011). From Goodreads: “When her best guy friend falls victim to a vicious hate crime, sixteen-year-old Cat sets out to discover who in her small town did it. Richly atmospheric, this daring mystery mines the secrets of a tightly knit Southern community.”
procured from: I received this book in ARC form from NetGalley, with no compensation on either side. Thanks, NetGalley! Beautiful Lies is available now.